The story comes from Yahoo news and involves a Maryland school district that decided to remove all religious holiday references from their calendar rather than include references to Muslim holidays.
The headline itself is accurate: School district strikes Christmas from calendar. It’s the blurb that is an example of the vile reporting that causes stories to enter into my Misleading Headline posts. “We were blindsided,” it states authoritatively.
I want you to think for a moment about the intent of that quote in this blurb. It’s an absolutely accurate quote. One of the parties involved in the situation said those exact words.
It was the Muslim organization’s representative. They are dismayed that the other religions had to have their holidays stricken from the calendar. They simply wanted Muslim holidays mentioned on the calendar. That’s it. Mentioned. Instead of mentioning a Muslim holiday the school district decided to strike all references. The reason is, of course, because they are not comfortable listing Muslim holidays but are keenly aware that they cannot exclude one religion while including others. Their solution is to remove all such references.
That’s certainly the choice of the school district and as an Atheist I’ve got not problem with such a decision. Good riddance, I say. If they wanted to include the Muslim holidays along with Jewish and Christian I wouldn’t have a problem with that either. Frankly, I don’t care either way.
My problem is with the blurb on the headline. Completely and totally misleading. It’s clearly designed to make people think the school board was somehow blindsided by the request from the Muslim organization. It’s not even misleading. It’s really just a flat-out lie.
Congratulations Yahoo News. You win Misleading Headline of the Week!